Today is OFFICIALLY my first day after completing the #21DSD (21 Day Sugar Detox). I’ll be honest, when I started this diet, I knew little about it, what it would do to my diet and honestly, I had no idea what I would cook with the boundaries. A good friend of mine, whom I’d been lightly working out with, said let’s do it and I went for it.
There are 3 “levels” to the diet, each one is more restrictive than the last. All levels allow for no grain or bread or starches but levels 1 & 2 allow some dairy and more fruit options. Since I’m not married to cheese and I don’t drink milk, I went for level 3 knowing it would be a challenge. If you click on the image above, you can get a larger view. Essentially, you’re limited to meats and veggies and a a small list of cooking oils, nuts and beverages. You can have as much lemon and lime as you like and the one “treat” you could indulge in each day was one green tipped banana (which is just not as ripe and sweet as we generally eat bananas) or a green apple. I happen to love green apples so this was great for me!
While the list sounds very limited, I stuck to a lot of raw spinach, roasted or grilled vegetables and all the steak and seafood I could eat! A friend recommended ghee and I quickly incorporated it into my shrimp and steak dishes for a rich, buttery flavor. I can honestly say I prefer ghee to regular butter in my shrimp recipe. Steak is still best with real butter. I’m dieting, not dead.
I started off with a few simple dishes like shrimp and broccoli (I know, this isn’t done cooking, I promise I did not ingest raw shrimp!)
I eventually got WAY more adventurous with my shrimp by adding ghee and creating a nice cayenne pepper crust! This is probably my favorite meal of the whole diet! Shrimp ended up being on sale 1/2 off at my local grocery store for the entire duration of my challenge, so I got pretty good at preparing this dish!
I also ate A LOT of bacon! I mean…..some days 4-5 pieces! If you love bacon, this diet is great! I often cooked in bacon grease too! All my steaks (seen above smothered in mushrooms) were cooked in bacon grease.
Grilling meats and veggies were also a huge win (and made for amazing left overs) you just have to be aware of pre-made, store bought marinades. The pork chops were done with a dry rub (which is generally your best bet if you do want to purchase something to season with, just check that there isn’t sugar added. Try something spicy or BBQ and avoid things like Teriyaki). And we got mild Italian sausage.
Aside from showing you that detoxing from sugar tasted AMAZING, what I really wanted to get across is what it did for me. I’m 5 ‘3 and just over 200lbs. I’m certainly over weight and it’s not something I’m okay with. I’ve been actively trying to eat right and work out since June and struggled to loose just over 6lbs, which I’ve also struggled to keep off. During the 21 days on this diet, I lost 13.2lbs and finally hit my first weight lose milestone at 20lbs.
This “diet” is not only a sugar detox but it also puts your body into a state known as keytosis. Essentially while in keytosis, your body burns fat more efficiently. Typically, your brain runs on glucose. You hear all the time that you “need carbs”. People say this because it DOES fuel the brain. When your body doesn’t have the glucose it typically does from carbs, your liver will convert fat into fatty acids and keytone bodies. The keytones replace glucose in the brain as your main source of energy. Essentially, instead of wasting it’s time breaking down carbohydrates, you can get your body to break down your FAT. So….garlic bread or burn fat? Pasta and alfredo or burn fat?
This diet also worked well for me because there wasn’t a lot of calorie counting. I track my food as a Fitbit user but found it very hard to eat over 1,000 calories in any given day. Without butter, cheese and salad dressings; there isn’t much to weigh down your food. Bacon was one of the only things that could really wreck this diet. Protein and veggies are filling and I really felt like I could eat as much as I want, whenever I wanted and it always felt right.
If you’re coming from a high carb diet like I was, the first two days aren’t fun. You’re going to crash. You’re going to crave sugar and if you’re a true addict (*raises hand*), you’re going to have a headache. After day 3, something that I can only describe as euphoria happens. You’re suddenly alert, awake, more able to focus…Both my emotional state and my energy level stopped ebbing and weaving. I felt more “even” throughout the day. I cut out coffee too so that I could retain a “crash-less” day. (Fear not coffee addicts of the world, this is NOT a requirement!!)
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I enjoyed some carbs today. I have a great frontal lobe headache to prove it. It was hard having to cook all my own meals everyday, especially cooking 5 meals a day. I made breakfast, lunch and dinner but could often only eat eggs and bacon with my family and ended up cooking alternative or edited meals for myself on the side. BUT I don’t think carbs and dairy feels right to my body anymore. Overall, I learned some great new recipes and eating habits that I hope will stick with me.
If you’re interested in trying the #21DSD, I HIGHLY encourage you to read up on it and give it a go! Encourage a friend to try it with you, it’s actually super fun to talk cravings with a friend! I needed someone to justify the caramel chocolate bar I HAD to put down the garbage disposal on day 9 and friends are always good for a laugh! If you do try it, I’d love to hear about it!